Halloween decorating ideas to set the scene for stylish celebrations at home

If you love Halloween but don't dig tacky skeletons and faux cobwebs, try these eerily elegant styling ideas instead...

Love Halloween? Us, too. It's becoming bigger every year, when it comes to celebrations, dressing up and decorating our homes. Whether you're hosting a party or simply decorating to welcome trick-or-treaters these fiendishly good Halloween decorating ideas will help you do it in style.

From seasonal wreaths and autumnal tablescape ideas for a subtle nod to decorating, to making spooky balloon arches and painting pumpkins for an on-trend scene for Instagram – we have it all.

Take a look at these great Halloween decorating ideas to get into the spooky spirit...

Halloween decorating ideas to delight

1. Create a balloon arch

Halloween black and white balloon arch against grey wall with bats and spiders

(Image credit: Ginger Ray/Very)

Make your Halloween party go with a bang (although not literally we hope) by creating a spooky balloon arch. Arrange a combination of black, white and silver balloons above a table laden with treats. Use a black marker to draw ghostly faces on the white balloons. Cut bats, spiders and webs from black paper and arrange among your display.

Want to learn more about making a DIY balloon arch? We show you how to create a balloon arch in simple easy steps.

2. Display an autumnal wreath

Halloween autumn door wreath with pumpkins

(Image credit: Hobbycraft)

Celebrate the season by adorning your door with a sophisticated autumnal wreath. Dress a grapevine wreath blank with leaves, berries and pinecones in warming red and orange tones. Attach mini velvet pumpkins for softness.

Use florist's wire or a glue gun to make sure components are securely attached. If you're worried about exposing your wreath to the elements, display inside on an internal door or as part of a table arrangement.

3. Dress the walls with flying bats

Cardboard cut out bats on a white hallway wall

(Image credit: Amy Johnson )

Nothing bat crazy about this idea, it's genius! Savvy designer Amy Johnson, Twin Associates (opens in new tab), shared this creative idea. The simple bats are made using light black card,Amy explaining how she made them by 'folding each in half to cut symmetrically, doubling up the layers so you make more at once!'. Using white tack or Washi tape doubled over, simply secure the back of each bat, in the middle, to the wall at various heights – to create a flying motion.

Easy to make and hung in minutes, but so effective at dressing the entire wall for a stylish halloween party.

4. Stencil a pumpkin design rather than carve

White pumpkins with pattern drawn on in marker pen

(Image credit: Amy Johnson)

Save yourself the mess and potential trip to A&E by seeking an alternative to carving pumpkins. More and more pumpkin patches are offering an array of alternatively coloured pumpkins and squashes, such as white! These are perfect to draw on with a permanent marker pen, to create a colourful hand drawn design.

This is a great way for kids to get involved without having to use sharp instruments for carving. Maybe washable pens are best for very young kids, to save them staining hands with ink.

Black halloween pictures on wall with pumpkins

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Make your own Halloween silhouette framed pictures. Cut creepy images and phrases from black paper and mount on a white background. If drawing out your shapes before cutting, don't forget to draw them back-to-front on the reverse of the paper. Pop your pictures in black frames and display on the wall or on a mantelpiece.

6. Welcome Trick or Treaters

Hello Pumpkin Halloween doormat on patterned tiles

(Image credit: Hobbycraft)

Welcome visitors with a cute custom Halloween doormat. You can make your own using a Cricut cutting machine and vinyl to create a stencil. Secure in place with masking tape and use black acrylic paint and a stencil brush to fill in your design. Leave to dry for 24 hours, then seal with spray varnish. View the full how-to at Hobbycraft (opens in new tab).

7. Shine terrifying tea lights

Spooky lanterns made from glass jars with spider and bat decorations on a black table

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you can't handle the mess of carving pumpkins, try placing flickering tea light candles in empty clip-top jars. Give them a Halloween twist by using PVA to glue orange tissue paper on the inside of the jars. Add creepy shapes like bats and spiders in black paper to create spooky silhouettes.

Place anywhere around the house, inside or out, to encourage a little All Hallow's Eve atmosphere. If you have children or pets, consider using LED candles to avoid accidents.

8. Style an autumnal tablescape

Halloween tables cape with green polka dot table linen, dried flowers, candles and pumpkins

(Image credit: Future PLC/Sophie Allport)

Creating breathtaking tablescapes for all occasions is a massive trend, so why should Halloween be any different? Carve out pumpkins and gourds and fill with bouquets of dried flowers in autumnal shades. Mount on log slices to elevate and arrange on a table runner among candles.

Place mini gourds in mugs as part of place settings. Why not write your guests' names in gold pen on each pumpkin for them to take home?

9. Hang bewitching bunting

Pumpkin Halloween bunting against brick wall

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Who doesn't love a bit of bunting? It's easy to whip up and can come out year after year. Cut triangles from black and white card. Use half an apple and orange paint to print pumpkin shapes in the centre of each flag. Once dry, paint on stalks in green paint.

Cut eyes and a mouth from black paper and stick to the pumpkin faces. To hang your bunting, attach string or twine to the tops of the flags using craft tape.

10. Style a seasonal focal point

Seasonal table halloween decorating

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Pile a colourful clutch of pumpkins, squash and gourds into a table for understated style; against a white tablecloth, the burnt amber hues will shine. Fun decorations and tasty treats such as these sweet candies will keep trick-or-treaters happy.

11. Paint a pumpkin

Painted pumpkins standing on pile of books

(Image credit: Future plc/ Graeme Ainscough)

Not a fan of carving? Painted pumpkins are just as effective, especially when contrasted with worn wooden knick-knacks on a reclaimed dresser. Simply paint on your funny or scary face, then mix and match with different shapes and sizes of pumpkins for an attractive seasonal display.

Add a warm, autumnal touch with strings of berries along the top, intertwined with twinkling fairy lights.

12. Create creepy curb appeal

Create curb appeal halloween decorations on house

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

This country cottage manages a friendly ‘haunted house' feel with weathered outdoor furniture, blacked out windows and pumpkins aplenty. Fill woven planters with seasonal foliage and dress your door with an autumnal wreath fashioned from fallen leaves.

13. Light up the night

Halloween decorations hanging from stairs

(Image credit: Sainsbury's Home)

Carved Jack-O'-Lantern pumpkins are a Halloween classic, but why not opt for glitter, or plastic designs that have safety lights? Display them at the front door or along the stairs for an atmospheric twist on the traditional doorstep decoration.

14. Make up your mantelpiece

Pumpkin and ghost halloween decorations hanging

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Give an uninteresting mantel a freakishly good update for Halloween by crafting your own scary decorations. White, black and orange are the perfect colours for Halloween decorating.

Make these adorable characters from leftover yarn. To make the pumpkins, use a pom pom maker to make an orange pom pom. Cut a pipe cleaner into three pieces and bend one end of a piece around the middle, then curl the other end around a pencil to bend into shape. Tie fishing wire around the end to hang.

To make the ghost tassels, cut a 10x12cm piece of cardboard. Cut a small piece of wool and place it along the length of cardboard. Wind the rest of the wool around the width of the cardboard 25 times and tie the short piece tightly around one end. Snip the yarn at one end to release the tassel. Tie another length of wool round the neck of the tassel and knot to secure, then hang with fishing wire. Add googly eyes if you wish!

15. Lay a spooky table

Dining table laid with halloween decorations and light-up pumpkins

(Image credit: Lights4Fun)

Nothing creates a creepy atmosphere quite like painted pumpkins, creepy candies and flickering candlelight, so display all of this on dinner table to create a spooktacular showcase to your ghoulish guests. A pumpkin centrepiece lends itself to the occasion beautifully.

Stephanie Durrant
Stephanie Durrant

Steph Durrant is the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home’s sister magazine, Style at Home. Steph is an experienced journalist with more than 12  years under her belt working across the UK’s leading craft and interiors magazines. She first joined the team back in 2016 writing for both homes brands, specialising in all things craft, upcycling and DIY.